Sunday, April 6, 2014


Can you stand one more entry catering to my like for houses? If you can't, click up in the right hand corner of your screen. If you can, then read on. I promise you I will move on to other topics.

Together, dear reader, we visited Harrisburg's Bellevue Park late last month. You will recall it was one of the first planned communities in central Pennsylvania, laid out in the teens and 20s by the famous printer, horticulturist, and civic beautification leader J. Horace McFarland.

I've decided finally to read a biography of McFarland, "A Thorn for Beauty" by Ernest Morrison. It was published in 1995 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

I see from a bookmark that I have read the first fifty pages, but I can't recall a thing, so I will start over.

Here's a plan of the development circa 1910. The information in the lower right corner states, "Black smoke, billboards, public stables, public garages, [and] the sale of intoxicants are prohibited." Wait, no intoxicants? In that case, I wouldn't want to live there, anyway!

One house in my earlier entry on Bellevue Park was this one --

-- which had been trimmed back to this.

It is soon to be for sale when renovations are complete.

Well, I called Tom (this sign told me to) to see what it was all about. He was very nice and answered all my questions. He said he or his wife would show the house any time. In describing the house, he said there were four bedrooms! I asked how that was possible, as the house appears to be so small.

He told me that the lower level of the house is hidden from the street. It is there that you will find the kitchen and living areas. The upper floor, at street level, is the bedroom area. When you walk in the front door, which you see in the photo, you are on the second floor. An attractive banister enclosed a stairwell to the lower level.

Tom invited me to walk around and peek in the windows, so I did just that. The slope is pretty steep so I hung onto the railing and descended to the heart of the house. There is no yard to speak of, just a hill covered with growth. There is nothing to mow but the little flat lawn out front.

The lot slopes down to the road and a man-made pond beyond.

You can see that there is more house here than first meets the eye.
This small but attractive flagstone patio would make a dandy screened-in porch.

The French doors enter into the living area. I like the double screen doors. In a new house, this would most likely be a sliding glass door with a sliding screen.

 I looked like one of the coneheads when I peeked into the new kitchen.

I suppose your guests would have to park out front and walk down to the living level. I appreciated the no-step blacktop path beside the steps.

So there's the mystery of the Upside Down House. Give Tom a call if you want buy it!

Before we leave Bellevue Park, let's see a few other houses.

This 1940s ranch house is quite appealing. For sale.

I like the Dutch Colonial roof line. Think "Amityville Horror."
This typical 40s suburban home is for sale.

Another attractive stone and frame Cape Cod.

A grand house on an imposing site.
A small house with tile roof.

Well, there you have it. Enough houses to hold you until I see the next one that I just have to have!